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Taking children on holiday abroad after separation

Tags: holidays, summer
Content Types: Tips and Advice
Categories: After Separation

On theParentConnection Forum, we often receive posts from users asking about summer holidays and taking children abroad after a divorce has been settled.

We asked Adele Wilkinson, mediation specialist and partner at law firm Andrew Jackson, to give some advice on taking children on holiday after you’ve separated from their other parent:

Summer's here, the kids are off school and the holiday season is well and truly upon us.

Arranging and going on holiday should be a pleasure and a treat – but organising holidays and spending time abroad can be really stressful.

So how do separated parents manage to navigate the minefield of taking the children on holiday abroad?

Start planning

My advice would be to get together as early as possible in the year to plan out holidays and work out which weeks the children will spend with mum, which weeks with dad and give an idea of where the holidays will be.

A parenting plan may be useful when making these decisions.

If it isn't possible to plan a long way ahead, then agreeing a minimum notice period is always helpful.

Who do the children's passports belong to?

Quite often, there are arguments about who keeps the children's passports and who's responsible for renewing them.

Surely the case is that the passports belong to the children and should be kept with them (albeit looked after by an adult).

If the parents can't agree who should look after the passports then it can be helpful to nominate an independent third party such as a grandparent or godparent to do this.

All in all, the golden rule is exchange information as soon as you can, to avoid double bookings and disappointment for the children. Be upfront about your plans and make sure the other parent has all the information they need to make them feel comfortable with the holiday.

What if you don’t want your partner to take the kids on holiday abroad? Read Adele’s advice guide here.


Adele Wilkinson is a partner and mediation specialist at law firm Andrew Jackson. She has practised as a family lawyer since 1989.  She has a wealth of experience in dealing with financial, children and domestic violence issues.  Adele is Chair of Hull & East Yorkshire Resolution (the national family lawyers association) and practices the Resolution Code of Conduct to represent family clients through the Court process in a civilised, non adversarial way, when other methods of dispute resolution are not appropriate.


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  • Pc Bern Flag

    Hi Caz72, I'm sorry to read that things are not getting any easier between you and your ex. It makes co-parenting so hard and stressful if you can't cooperate and work together for your children. Doing a parent plan is a great idea. A mediator can be really helpful as an independent and impartial supporter of parents trying to do this. Another tip is to look at the on-line programme on this site - here's the link
    Good luck exploring the site!

    Mon 29, Jun 2015 at 7:21am
  • User-anonymous Caz72 Flag

    thank you for your reply, I am new to the site and still getting to know my way around, I thought I had put it onto the Forum and will share this once I get used to navigating myself around! I am not sure why he wishes to withhold this information, unfortuantely it is not the first time, whether it is a control, power or just simply not understanding how things work when you are seperated, however we have been apart for a long time now and it should be getting easier but is in fact getting much harder. Hopefully by having this information I will be empowered to make a stand and I will look at compiling a parent plan so we both know where we stand and it is written in black and white, thank you for your comments again.

    Sun 28, Jun 2015 at 10:12pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    Hello - firstly, if you want to post onto the Forum about your situation, you will get more responses from the community. This is a common problem so would be of interest to other parents.
    Quick answer - yes, a court would probably say that this information is reasonable to request so there would be no issue getting it. But to avoid going to court....either explain to your ex that you are not asking for personal information but for basic information that most parents would expect to be shared.....what do you think are the reasons this info is being withheld? A next step up would be a solicitors letter or a request to attend mediation.

    Sun 28, Jun 2015 at 9:18pm
  • User-anonymous cazcc Flag

    what do you do when your ex partner refuses to give any informaton on flight and accommodation details, you don't want to stop your children from going away but how can you get them to understand why you want that information and how do you go about getting it without going through the legal route as he only has PR for one of them?

    Fri 26, Jun 2015 at 5:44pm